This recipe came directly from my Grandmother. My Grandmother was a hard worker and very mechanically inclined. As I age, and my character builds, I’d like to think that I am like her in many ways. Grandma was a domestic engineer….er housewife on the farm. The many hats she wore in one day could have went from changing diapers and laundry to using gasoline to clean the tappet covers on the car being Grampa’s assistant along the way. Even though she was home, she worked, worked hard.
I work 40 hours a week with a one way hour commute, so time is precious. I do not know where my Grandma found this recipe, but I use the dickens out of it because it helps with time management in the evenings.
This cooks as fast as the potatoes cook. If you cut them small enough in as little as twenty minutes. I like to cut the potatoes to a dice and then over cook the stew. The starch from the potatoes thickens the broth and makes it more of a stew than a soup.
You will need to dice or chop 5 or 6 peeled potatoes. I always use russet.
You will also add water. The water depends on how far you want the meal to go. It depends on the pot I use as to how much water is added. Usually it is enough water to cover the potatoes completely.
Add two cans of vegetable barley soup. You can use beef barley, or vegetable beef soup.
Add a large bowl of beef mix. For this recipe to make ahead click here.
So just pour all these ingredients into a pot. Due to variable amounts of sodium in the cans of soup, I tend to season with salt and pepper as it is served in each bowl individually. Cook to boiling for about 20 minutes, to 40 minutes, The longer it is cooked the more the soup will turn to stew. Pictured below is a soupy version, as I was tired and hungry and did not want to wait any longer.
Viola, Poor Man’s Stew.